We received a sobering, major update about guns on campus this afternoon at the Town & Gown Committee, which works on issues that affect the City of Fayetteville & the University of Arkansas:
Today we learned that the first batch of applicants has completed the Enhanced Concealed Carry training under Arkansas State Police guidelines. These individuals are now licensed to carry guns on college campuses, including the U of A. They may be packing heat right next to you, right now. The gun only has to be within arm’s length, not holstered. It could be in a purse or backpack. They don’t have to reveal they’re carrying, even if you ask.
The legislation was passed last year over the objection of the city, the university, employees, students, police, and just about everybody else involved. Today’s news also gives new urgency to a major flaw in the legislation – it allows students to carry those weapons into their dorm rooms, but doesn’t allow them to store them safely anywhere.
I oppose guns on campus, except with trained law enforcement officers. I believe this is a bad law that will cause more problems than it solves.
In the wake of this deeply flawed piece of legislation, I am calling for us to give local control back to universities and cities, to make their own decisions regarding guns on campus and other issues. We must also finally move forward with long-stalled common sense gun safety laws, such as closing background check loopholes and restrictions on military grade assault rifles. This is not an issue that only one specific law will solve. I will fight for that as your legislator.